sleepwebI have just launched a new survey on the relationship between sleep and willpower, and would love as many people as possible to take part.  It only takes about a minute, and all you have to do is clip the link here (I think there is an issue for some iPad users, but we are working to fix that – everyone else will be fine!). Many thanks. Much appreciated.


  1. May all sleep well on the coming Winter Solstice Night!

    I know some here have been less than kind toward me these past few months as they take out their inadequacies in the form of frustration onto an innocent bystander. But I forgive you all in the spirit of renewal and rebirth that comes to the fore at this very special time of year.

    I wish that my deep spiritual virtues will shine on you all as we enter a new year guided by the power of astrology that is recognised even by previously skeptical scientists now that the evidence is plain before them.

    And may we have many more civilised discussions of things of true value on this blog. Many more at least compared to the ill-willed maths nonsense that has so often blighted it.

    Sleep well. Dream deep. And arise refreshed. We are truly more solidly entering into the Age of Aquarius. And that promises spiritual bounty for us all.

    Be blessed by me.

    1. @Taren Capel

      People once did not believe in Oxygen.Or in Gravity, Or in the Quantum nature of our consciousness.

      Yet times change and even science can catch up with the timeless wisdoms of old that some of us have intuited long before.

      @Taren Capel skepticism is good but there is a time to move on and come to acceptance of what is widely known and indeed proven by the very science some live their lives by.

  2. Just a thought…. I don’t remember any of my dreams. I’m told that everybody dreams, but as far as I can tell, I don’t.

    1. James, I highly recommend that you make an appointment to see your doctor at the earliest opportunity. There is a strong possibility that you are dead and it would be prudent to arrange to have yourself embalmed before gangrene sets in.

  3. @Richard Wiseman

    I feel you are not the real Richard Wiseman and that you are just playing a jest on the more gullible visitors to this blog. I am not myself in the least particle gullible thus I have seen through your little jest.

    Please desist from causing confusion and mayhem on this blog. It is not funny. It is not grown up. It does not contribute to the deeper conversations we are having (e.g. on Astrology) that are of genuine use and interest to many of the truly dedicated visitors.

    @Taren Capel Your support and kind words are always most welcome. We may not see eye to eye yet we can both agree on the value of the celestial sciences such as Astrology and Homeopathy as bringing meaning and order to our our otherwise superficially complicated world.

    These are I am sure virtues we hold as self evident as we move together through the “yule tide” period and onward into the New Year.

    I for one pledge as a new year resolution to remain resolute in the face of those who would turn this blog into a silly arena for numbers games. Let us all work together to deliver deeper meaning here and everywhere in our lives.

    1. @Edie

      I believe I have presented the maximal solution possible given the rules as stated by you.

      I have used my creativity and insight to craft the best possible solution within the artificial framework that the puzzled defines.

      Yet I remain puzzled why you would descend to personal comment and state that my solution is trivial. It remains yet the best possible solution and one that I predict will never be bettered.

      I think perhaps you are still a little worse for wear after the recent Festivities and are not thinking clearly otherwise you would have embraced my solution for the insight and genius that it undoubtably embodies.

      I say that not to overstate my role in crafting this solution – I feel I am just a humble conduit for powers far greater than myself – but to counter your tendency to “trivialise” that which you cannot understand or that which your limited perspective does not allow you to appreciate.

      I hope that when your Festivities have worn off you will join me in the simple appreciation of how truly good my solution is.

    2. Eddie, Barry’s solution is totally valid and not trivial. One queen on its own is equally valid.

    3. many years ago, i was in a park in finland with a giant chess “board” so big that each square could hold its own person. the pieces themselves were wooden blocks.

      i’m pretty sure one of the people in my group was a queen, and he never threatened anybody. but get a bunch of queens together, and there will inevitably be a few who don’t get along.

    4. @Edie

      I do have another solution if you wish.

      Sixty four Queens of mixed colours. Have as many black or white queens as you wish.

      While there are no Kings on the board the other pieces cannot threaten each other. It is only when Kings are in play that the game has threats. Otherwise it is just an illegal and unplayable arrangement of pieces.

      If that was the answer you had in mind be happy now that someone has bothered to enunciate it for you. I pray that you can bow rest your weary mind and then get on with other more worthy things in this life.

      Your humble educator


    5. Define ‘trivial’?

      Maybe you should have better worded the original question. “What is the maximum number of queens that you can put on a chess board without one threatening another?”. By the way the answer is eight.

    6. @Barry – another trivial solution from you, further demonstrating your unwillingness to engage with the spirit of the puzzle on offer. I am envisaging a spacial arrangement which takes into account the attack modes of the queen(s). Looks like you’re the one tiring and not even attempting to exercise your weary mind. BTW I’m quite happy on this website and consider it one of the more worthy things in this life. Perhaps *you* should consider getting on with other more worthy things in life than trivialising other people’s source of interest.

      @Prince Andy’s Chopper – point taken. I do sometimes have a little trouble expressing my self clearly. And your answer is right.

    7. The question as intended has the answer of 8 (a8,b6,c4,d2,e7,f5,g1,h3 for one solution) – it took me a bit of trial and error (I thought I knew what the answer should be) with a grid in Excel and a few scattered formulae, although I’m sure there is a mathematical approach that one could take to the delight of other readers.
      There are a few implicit assumptions, such that the solver understands what a queen is in the context of chess, but in the context of a column of puzzles I think it is a valid statement of a puzzle.
      However it is open enough to give pleasure to those who like finding loopholes: even Barry’s answer of 64 assumes that each queen is placed on a single square – if you have small queens and a big board you can squeeze a lot more on.

  4. Of the 100 peo­ple at a recent party, 90 spoke Span­ish, 80 spoke Ital­ian, and 75 spoke Man­darin. At least how many spoke all three languages?

    1. That’s one I /can/ do!

      Hint alert …

      We know 75 spoke Mandarin – but 20 didn’t speak Italian – so assume all those 20 were Mandarin speakers – etc

    2. At most 75% spoke all three languages.

      Take away the ones that don’t speak spanish or italian and you get 45%.

      Right answer, wrong rerasoning?

  5. @ChrisRC

    Thank you for your support. Open minded critical rational inquiry has ofttimes been derided in the comments on this blog. Thus it is good to know that a fellow free thinker is brave enough to post here.

    Yet your comment about small enough queens is not in the spirit of @edie’s puzzle. If the queens were minute then we could add millions. That direction leads us to Medieval theosophy and questions similar to the number of Angels than can dance on the head of a pin.

    Still yet to address your idea in a differently creative way we could take inspiration from the game Go. By placing Queens on the INTERSECTIONS between squares NONE of them would be attacking each other as they would not be on the squares. If we now count by the number of intersections: 10 in each Row and there are 8 rows. We can now see a way to have 80 queens all not attacking each other.

    This is a legitimate solution that is already 10 times as maximal as the suggested 8.

    This proves the worth of the creative mind over the more tramtracked “mathematical” approach. I wish that others will learn from this and be uplifted and inspired.

    1. don’t push it Barry – and anyway, there are only 9 intersections if you count the edges, but 9 rows (I understand Go includes the external boundaries). Sometimes you have to actually visualise things (like how a needle on a record player moves over /half/ an LP).

  6. A triple whammy from me …

    1. Find the mistake in these mathematical equations.
    x = 2
    x(x-1) = 2(x-1)
    x2-x = 2x-2
    x2-2x = x-2
    x(x-2) = x-2
    x = 1

    So 1 = 2 ??!?!!?

    2. What word can be made formed from three letters of BEACH and the other three from VOGUE?

    3. What is the highest REGULAR counting number that is spelled without the use of the letter “N”? (No Googleplex or Graham’s number etc)

    1. It is indeed

      As for Question 2 ‘gauche’ is another answer

      Just waiting for Barry G to conduit from powers far greater than all of us and to respond with his precious pearls of wisdom.

  7. @DAve

    You are most gracious in your praise.

    Yet please do not “wait” for me. I as you say do not have greater powers yet I can humbly act as a conduit for them. Still moreso can any of us with the correct receptive aptitude to life.

    And indeed yes I think I can improve on the answers given to date.

    Yet as an exercise to help others develop the useful sense of wonder than encourages us to go farther and deeper and find higher truths I shall reveal only one of the improved answers.

    For the others: you know my methods. Apply them to yourselves.

    My improved answer. A word using three letters from each of BEACH and VOGUE.

    My word is HEAVE-HO.

    It is a longer answer than the answers so far as it uses the H from BEACH twice.

    Perhaps you now have an “Ah-ha!” moment in realising that the puzzle set did not limit the number of times letters may be used.

    If so you have a glimpse of the wider world that awaits beyond your limitations.

    I remain your humble guide to that world.

  8. Pingback: Amiee Mcluckie

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s